Posted 09/08/2011 - 11:56:00am by Stephen Anfield
Why add this feature? LinkedIn recently compiled a survey of nearly 2,000 professionals in the U.S. and found that 89 percent of the survey participants had volunteer experience, but only 45 percent listed it on their resumes.
"Professionals often have the misconception that volunteer work doesn't qualify as 'real' work experience," says Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's connection director. "You may be a sales person by trade, but if you organized your nonprofit's fundraising event, you can add skills, like event planning or event marketing, to your profile. Having those additional skills can potentially make you a more attractive employee and business partner."
Here’s how to add the "Volunteer Experience & Causes" field to your LinkedIn Profile:
- Log in to LinkedIn and click "Profile" at the top of the screen.
- Click the "Add Sections" hyperlink.
- Select "Volunteer Experience & Causes."
- Click the "Add to Profile" button and then fill out the applicable fields.
View a screenshot of the new "Volunteer Experience & Causes" field and get more details on the impact volunteering can have on your career on the LinkedIn Blog: http://lnkd.in/profile-volunteer-field.
For more resources about how volunteering can help you land a job in the nonprofit sector, check out these links:
- SmartMoney.com: Does Volunteering Give Job-Seekers an Edge?
- AARP Foundation: Volunteer & Find A Job
- Encore.org: How do I transition from a corporate job to a nonprofit one?
“I tell people looking for encore careers that they absolutely need to volunteer,” says my colleague and career expert Marci Alboher. “It’s a great way to learn more about what you want in a job and to show others what you can do. And if the word 'volunteer' doesn't sound like a match for the high-level contributions you made, make sure to use language that shows what you did -- depending on the work you did, 'pro bono adviser,' 'board member,' and 'strategy partner' might be more fitting.”
One more thing: When you access your LinkedIn profile to add your volunteer experience, consider adding Civic Ventures/Encore Careers as a cause you care about and an organization whose goals you support.